Women entrepreneurs | Successful business women

8 Successful Business Women Who Went Beyond The Glass Ceiling

December 24, 2022 Educate Girls

There was once a time when women in business was almost unheard of – this was because business was considered the domain of men. Women were meant to stay at home, cook, clean and take care of the family; it was the task of the men to step out into the world and make money and earn a reputation for themselves. However, with more and more women getting access to education, their entry into the realm of business became a lot more commonplace.

Today, there are women all over the world, including Indian women and women of Indian origin, who are creating waves in the corporate world and proving their mettle. There is no denying that these women were able to reach the kinds of heights they are at, because they had access to a good education. At Educate Girls, our constant efforts are at giving girls the opportunity to get the education they deserve.

Here are ten women, from a sea of achievers, who are proving that success in the corporate world has no connection with gender:

2. Leena Nair

With her appointment as the new global CEO of the French luxury label, Chanel, Leena Nair has become the centre of a lot of attention. This gold medallist from the prestigious XLRI institute in India, ascended to the position, even though she did not have any fashion background. She worked with big brands like Unilever, where under her leadership, the brand earned the position of being the number one FMCG graduate employer of choice in more than 50 countries. She has constantly been an advocate for diversity and inclusion at the workplace and that is why she headed the Diversity and Inclusion agenda at Unilever.

3. Roshni Nadar

Even though HCL is her family-owned business, Roshni Nadar Malhotra has proven her talent and business acumen to become the CEO of the billion-dollar corporation. She is also the chairperson of HCL Technologies and its CSR Board Committee. She has an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University as well as an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, where she was also awarded the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award. Considered amongst the richest and most powerful women in India, Roshni is counted amongst the most successful business women in the world today. She is also a humanitarian at heart and has established several organisations related to wildlife and conservation and education of the underprivileged and continues to work towards the idea of creating a better world.

4. Vanitha Narayanan

Appointed as the chairman of IBM India Private Limited in the year 2017, Vanitha has played a crucial role in enabling the organisation to meet global goals. She joined the company in 1987 and grew from strength to strength – she has held positions of importance in several verticals including sales, services, marketing and global delivery. She was also responsible for several transformational initiatives including being an important member of IBM’s Growth & Transformation team. She has held several important positions including first woman chairperson of AMCHAM India, Director of Catalyst India Advisory Board and was also named amongst the Most Powerful Women’ in Business in India. She earned her masters in Business Administration from the University of Madras and another MBA from the University of Houston.

5. Padmasree Warrior

Born and brought up in a middle-class family of Andhra Pradesh, Padmasree had always shown an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), which egged her on to study chemical engineering at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology. She went on to get her MS in the same subject from Cornell University and that laid foundation for her to become one of the foremost women entrepreneurs in the world. She has been associated with renowned brands like Motorola and Cisco and has also served on the board of Microsoft and Spotify. After spending 35 years in the corporate world, she decided to co-found Fable – a curated reading platform, that aims at bringing stories from everywhere to everyone!

6. Revathi Advaithi

An Indian-American, Revathi has been associated with some big names in the corporate world. Including Eaton (a power management company) and Honeywell, where she was held several leadership roles. Currently, she is the CEO of Flex, where she designs the way to the future for the company. This mechanical engineer from BITS Pilani, also holds an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management is the co-chair of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Advanced Manufacturing CEO Community. In her varied capacities, she has aimed at innovation and building a more sustainable work environment.

7. Jayshree Ullal

Ullal has a truly global upbringing – born in London, she spent most of her formative years in India and completed her education in the United States. An engineer by education, she worked at prestigious companies like Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Fairchild Semiconductor, Ungermann-Bass and Crescendo Communications. In 2008, she was named the president and CEO of Arista Networks, a company that she helped take from the ground up to becoming a multibillion-dollar business, etching her name in the list of the top women in business. Hers is a name that you will see constantly in the list of the most powerful and wealthy women of the world.

8. Aditi Gupta

Menstruation has always been a hushed-up subject in several parts of the world, but it is a conversation that should happen openly. It was this thought that pushed Aditi Gupta, an alumnus of the National Institute of Design, to create the Menstrupedia Comic. Today, she runs what is being hailed as one of the most innovative companies in the world, because it focuses on learning and teaching about periods. The comic is now available in 20 languages and is educating people, including girls in more than 23 countries. In the past few years, she has been listed in several important lists, including Forbes India 30 under 30 and BBC 100 women.

9. Falguni Nayar

Born and raised in a Mumbai based Gujarati family, Falguni studied at Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics and the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. A former investment banker, Falguni decided to take the leap and start Nykaa, which aimed at bringing a huge selection of high-quality beauty products to the customers. Her rise to becoming one of the richest women and most influential women entrepreneurs in India came in less than a decade. At present, Nykaa sells products from more than 4500 globally renowned brands and has now branched into fashion as well.

At Educate Girls, we understand that problems faced by women entrepreneurs might not be very different from those faced by young girls across the country. Both of them have to cross several hurdles to reach their goals and there are those in the society who are always looking for a chance to push them back. We aim to lend a helping hand to every girl, who wants to set her own goals and work towards achieving them! Join our cause today and who knows, you might be helping the next budding entrepreneur or business woman!

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Posted on December 24, 2022

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